Monthly Archives: February 2021

How do you know anything about climate change?

How do you know anything about climate change?

By Bob Weir

Let’s take an issue such as climate change.  We all know people who are “experts” on the subject.  They will tell you that the icebergs are melting into the sea and will eventually cause the oceans to rise, flooding entire cities and states, snuffing out the lives of millions.  They’ll view every hurricane, tornado, earthquake, and temperature fluctuation as “proof” that mankind is destroying the planet, primarily because of fossil fuel usage (although cow flatulence is not far behind, if you’ll excuse the pun).  I’m always amazed at how intelligent these climate change adherents are.  Without an exhaustive study in the field of the related disciplines, these pseudo-scientists, with not a scintilla of personally gained knowledge, will fiercely defend the imminent destruction of the planet against those they deem “deniers.”

How did they get so smart without traveling the world with due diligence, endeavoring to accumulate facts to sustain their theories?  That friend of yours who has a career in sales management, or the guy with a degree in journalism, will try to impress you with his vast knowledge in the planetary sciences.  Where did he obtain that esoteric awareness?  Certainly not in the trenches of Icelandic expeditions and other arctic investigations.  Instead, like the guy who plops himself in front of the television screen during a football game and yells plays to the quarterback, he’s become an armchair expert by watching liberal news coverage and reading left-wing publications.  In defending his position, he’ll invariably tell you about the number of scientists who agree that the end is near, perhaps as close as 12 years, unless we end oil and gas drilling, coal mining, and any other activity producing carbon content.

Frankly, I don’t know if the climate is changing in ways that will endanger our lives.  I do know that those scientists who agree with that hypothesis are recipients of many lucrative government grants to continue their research. Those who disagree, not so much.  Inasmuch as such research is driven by money, isn’t it possible that many scientists will ensure that their findings follow the cash flow?  The environmental lobby is probably the most active and powerful influence in the federal government, spending countless millions to sway legislators to implement laws against fossil fuel use.  Meanwhile, China and other developing nations are contributing huge amounts of pollution into the atmosphere with impunity.  China, the world’s largest contributor of CO2 emissions, is now emitting over 10 billion metric tons into the atmosphere (about twice that of the U.S.), mainly from burning coal, needed to supply Chinese electricity.

Has President Biden, John Kerry, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or any other Green New Deal fanatic taken on the Asian giant for its odious contributions to the demise of the planet?  Hardly!  There’s no political advantage in publicly chastising the country that has so many American politicians and corporations on its payroll.  Moreover, it’s a good bet that China isn’t paying any of its scientists to say fossil fuel is hazardous.  I guess Xi Jinping has no expectation of living past the next 12 years.

 

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Pentucket avenges earlier loss winning Kinney Division title 34-23 over Newburyport

Pentucket wins the Kinney Division (CAL vs Cancer) tournament

Emma Foley and Arielle Cleveland

Makenna Ward surrounded by Sachems

(Newburyport MA) Just over two weeks ago, Newburyport got the best of Pentucket.

The game was fast, and the points were flowing.

Against most teams, that works in the Sachems favor.  But it didn’t against Newburyport and a 58-54 loss resulted.

“We probably over-coached last time,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara after tonight’s 34-23 win.

“We went back to our basic man-to-man principles for tonight’s game and didn’t do anything fancy,” he explained.  “We just kept kids in front of us.”

The victory won the Kinney Division (CAL vs Cancer) tournament for Pentucket (12-1).

The formerly undefeated Clippers (11-1) were done in by a three-point second quarter and a two-point third quarter.

Mackenzie Currie (11 points) 5-for-7 from the line

After those two scoring famines, Newburyport was behind, 23-13, and could not generate enough offense to make things interesting in the final quarter.

“You have to give Pentucket credit,” said Newburyport coach Karen Grutchfield afterwards.  “They played harder than we did.”

“It was frustrating to miss so many layups and free throws,” added Coach Grutchfield.

Poor free throw shooting may have been the key to the loss.  The Clippers were only able to make three-of-sixteen from the stripe.

In the win at Pentucket, the Clippers sealed that one by making eight free throws in the final forty seconds.

“A lot of our shots were off tonight,” said senior Abigail Gillingham.  “We haven’t played this way all season.”

The Clippers did start off well.  Sophomore Emma Foley hit two jump shots during an eight-point first-quarter run to put Newburyport in front 8-3.

Arielle Cleveland (10 points) 6-for-10 from the line

Pentucket took the lead, 11-10, in the second quarter after Arielle Cleveland (10 points) cashed two free throws.

Arielle ended the Sachems second-quarter scoring connecting a long pass to Greta Mauer for a layup.

Pentucket’s halftime lead was 16-11.

“We were confident that if we tweaked our defense enough, we could contain them,” said Coach McNamara, “the question was whether we could score enough points.”

The Clippers had been putting up plenty of points all season, so a five-point deficit at halftime seemed like a minor obstacle.

An Abigail Gillingham jumper (from Leah Metsker) made this a one-possession game with six minutes left in the third quarter.

Whether it was poor offense or great defense is speculation.  The fact is that Newburyport didn’t score a point in the final six minutes.

Abigail Gillingham (9 points) shoots over Mackenzie Currie

Pentucket used this time to build up a ten-point lead (23-13) by quarter’s end thanks to an Arielle Cleveland free throw and two other layups from the Sachems senior.

Arielle’s last basket was a runner in the lane just before the quarter ended.

Arielle (10 points) played only four minutes in the first meeting between the two teams.

“It hurt us last time not having Arielle,” said Coach McNamara.  “She can handle the ball and score baskets. We were thrown for a loop a little bit when we lost her last game.”

The Clippers were able to get within six points twice in the final quarter.

“I was proud of the way we kept pushing, even to the end,” said Abigail Gillingham (9 points).

Abigail’s jump shot (assist Jackie Doucette) put Newburyport within six (25-19) with five minutes left.

Abby Dube made the only three of the game

Abby Dube answered for Pentucket (assist Arielle Cleveland) with the only three either team would make during the entire game.

Abigail then had a free throw and a jump shot from the corner (assist Makenna Ward) to narrow things to, 28-22, with three minutes remaining.

Pentucket, however, built their lead back up by getting points on three straight possessions (Audrey Conover free throw, two Mackenzie Currie layups) and shutting out the Clippers during this segment.

The margin was now eleven (33-22) in the closing minute and Pentucket had the victory.

Greta Mauer: “This was our second time playing them.  We had to bring it to them, and we did.”

Greta Mauer lines up a shot

Mackenzie Currie (11 points): “It was hard to turn around from the Lynnfield game yesterday, but we all stepped up in some way.  For a very weird season, it was a good way to go out.”

Coach Grutchfield: “There were no easy shots in this one.  It was a hard one to end on.”

Coach McNamara: “This was only the third time we’ve ended a season with a tournament win.  The other times were state championships.  We have five seniors who contributed so much to the program.”

The Sachems defense limited sophomores Jackie Doucette and Deidre McElhinney to two points each.  In the first meeting, Jackie had twelve and Deidre eleven.

Newburyport box

Pentucket box

The link to this game will be posted on Twitter (@mcclellandpeter).  It also should appear in Mascores.  Pictures should be posted on Instagram (mcclellandmiscellanea) on Friday.

All of the pictures above and below should enlarge considerably if you click on them.

Arielle Cleveland guarded by Jackie Doucette

Makenna Ward drives to the basket

Emma Foley in for two

Anna Affolter in the lane

Audrey Conover elevates to defend

Greta Mauer gets a layup

Gabby Loughran block

Jackie Doucette pressures Arielle Cleveland

Makenna Ward

Emma Foley (7 points)

Audrey Conover and Deidre McElhinney

Mackenzie Currie

 

 

 

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Undefeated Newburyport (11-0) wins Kinney semi-finals 69-45 vs Triton

Adam Bovee finds Clipper teammate Tommy Jahn for a layup

Trevor Ward was part of a very effective Newburyport defense

(Newburyport MA) Newburyport continues to roll along.

The Clippers (11-0) are now just one win away from a perfect season after taking out Triton, 69-45, on Wednesday night in the semi-finals of the Kinney Tournament.

“They’re a really good team,” said Triton coach Ted Schruender afterwards.

Hard to argue.

The Clippers were unselfish on offense and relentless on defense.

That combination made it a tough night for the Vikings (3-8).

“Newburyport plays great pressure defense,” added Coach Schruender.  “They’re physical and they overplay.  You have to take advantage with backdoors and by attacking the rim.”

Jake Robertson had twenty points including five 3’s

Newburyport had a 15-point win (63-48) against Triton on February 3rd at Newburyport.  In that game, Jake Robertson had twenty points including six 3’s.  Also, in that game, the Clippers gained separation with a 24-point second quarter.

In tonight’s game, Jake again had twenty points but “only” five 3’s.  Separation in this one?  The Clippers, led by Max Gagnon, had a 24-point third quarter.

Kyle Odoy guarded by Jake Robertson

The struggle for Triton was trying to get open shots.  The Clippers were man-to-man in the first half and had active zone pressure in the second half.  Both were very effective in limiting second chances and clear paths to the basket.

“We were at them right away,” explained senior Trevor Ward. “Our defense gave us the advantage tonight.”

Trevor had two layups in a nine-point Clipper run in the first quarter that pushed them ahead, 12-4.

An eight-point run, including two Jake Robertson 3’s gave the home team a, 20-11, lead in the second quarter.

The game got away from Triton in the big Newburyport third quarter.

Junior Max Gagnon (13 points) had a stretch of terrific offense during that quarter.  First, he hit a three (from Jack Fehlner).  Then he went full-court on a rebound.  Next, Max had a steal that he took in for a layup.  Not bad for a minute’s worth of work!

Dylan Wilkinson (12 points) looks for an opening

That surge of offense gave Newburyport a, 48-29, lead with four minutes left in that third quarter. Triton didn’t have the weapons on this night to recover.

“I was feeling it tonight,” said Max post-game.  “To see it go in gives me confidence.  I have put in a lot of work on my shooting and we do plenty of shooting in practice.”

Part of the success Newburyport had on defense was keeping track of Triton’s Dylan Wilkinson.

“He can shoot and he can get hot,” said Newburyport coach Dave Clay.  “We were keying on him.  We wanted to mark him every time he stepped over halfcourt.”

Dylan was limited to twelve points and had Triton’s lone 3-point basket.

The Newburyport offense was spread.  They had thirteen 3’s and thirteen 2-point shots.

Trevor Ward makes a pass for a layup

Their passing was excellent.  Most of their outside shots were open looks after several passes.

The second-half point separation gave both coaches opportunities to use everyone in uniform.

“I enjoyed watching the progress of the players who haven’t been getting a lot of minutes,” said Coach Clay.  “They’ve played against very good players in practice and it’s helped them grow.”

Part of Coach Clay’s concern over Dylan Wilkinson was over the fact that in Newburyport’s last two games, individual players Kyle Beal (Rockport) and Cam Keliher (Amesbury) had big games versus the Clippers.  I watched Cam put up a remarkable 44 points and nearly lead Amesbury to a huge upset.

Action on the boards

Triton has now lost twelve straight to Newburyport (by my count).  Last win for the Vikings was in 2015 when Dave Clay was coaching at Triton.

Ten players scored for Newburyport.

Coach Schruender: “We got outplayed by a very good team.  However, I don’t question the heart of our team.  It was a tough win-lose season but that doesn’t change the fact that I had a great group of seniors that I’ll miss a lot.”

Newburyport box

Triton box

The link to this game will be posted on Twitter (mcclellandpeter).  It also should be posted on Mascores.  Pictures from the game will be posted on Instagram (mcclellandmiscellanea) in a day or so.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Peter Sullivan

Dennis Brendan and Tommy Jahn battle

Jack Fehlner

Kyle Odoy and Jake Robertson

Jared Leonard chased by Adam Bovee

Griffin Dupuis

Dylan Wilkinson (12 points) gets to the rim

Jack Fehlner and Charlie Cahalane pressure Alden Lentz

Andrew Cullen saves a ball going out of bounds

Charlie Cahalane (9 points) eyes the basket

Jake Robertson passes to the perimeter

Nick White finds the camera

Stone Butler

 

 

 

 

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Pentucket’s efficient defense leads to 42-23 win over Amesbury

Megan Reading (10 points) turns defense into a layup

McKenna Hallinan tries the baseline against Gabby Bellacqua

(Amesbury MA) “This was the cleanest game we’ve played defensively this season,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara post-game.

“What we talked about they executed really well,” he added.

The Sachems (9-1) challenged every Amesbury pass, dribble, and shot and coasted to a, 42-23, win on Friday night.

The Indians (7-3) went down, 9-1, in the first quarter and never recovered.

“Pentucket is very good,” said AHS coach Gregg Dollas afterwards.  “They’re very organized.  Very structured.  We just couldn’t gather ourselves.”

“We’ve had four practices in three weeks,” added Coach Dollas, “and at times in this game that lack of practice showed.”

Avery Hallinan shoots as Arielle Cleveland defends

That lack of practice was most apparent in Amesbury’s turnover number.  The Indians lost the ball on twenty-eight possessions without getting off a shot.  Plenty of wasted opportunities for Amesbury.

“We had way too many turnovers,” admitted Coach Dollas. “Plenty of silly passes and things like that.”

Senior Megan Reading led all scorers with ten points including several outside shots.

“My teammates made drives which set up the rest of us for nice open looks,” explained Megan.

And there were plenty of those open looks for Pentucket.  Amesbury was blessed that the Sachems were off from the outside and hit only four 3’s.

The Indians had as many three’s as Pentucket.  The home team had long one’s from McKenna Hallinan, Liv DeLong, and Meagan McAndrew in the last quarter.

Arielle Cleveland covered by Gabby Redford

Two years ago, Pentucket won at Amesbury by only two points.  Four years ago, it was a three-point game.  As a result, the one-sidedness of today’s game was surprising.  However, Covid-19 has taken the “normal” out of everything, including basketball.

“Amesbury is a good team,” said Coach McNamara.  “The score doesn’t indicate it.  They got off to a slow start and we were in control most of the way.”

The Sachems lead was 21-10 with three minutes left in the first half.  The next seven points belonged to Pentucket.  Freshman Gabby Bellacqua drained a three.  Senior Greta Mauer stole a pass and went for a layup.  Sophomore Audrey Conover drove from end-to-end.

This offensive collection elevated the Pentucket advantage to 28-10 in the early part of the second half.

Mackenzie Currie (9 points) splits Gabby Redford and Liv DeLong

Mackenzie Currie (9 points) and Arielle Cleveland (8 points) were the other two top scorers for the Sachems.

Gabby Redford paced Amesbury with six points.

When McKenna Hallinan got into early foul trouble, Gabby took over the point.  “I thought that Gabby stepped up in terms of controlling the ball,” said Coach Dollas.

The Indians three losses have been to Newburyport (twice) and Pentucket (once).  Neither of those teams are in Amesbury’s division in the Wednesday/Friday tournament of this coming week.  You have to like their chances.

Pentucket’s only loss has been to Newburyport.  Those two teams could well be facing each other for a second time in next Friday’s divisional championship.

Arielle Cleveland (8 points) breaks in with Ciara Sullivan in pursuit

In the February 3rd meeting, Pentucket’s top scorer (Arielle Cleveland) missed most of the game with an injury.  The Sachems squandered a lead in the last minute, falling, 58-54.  A rematch with the undefeated Clippers has “must-see” written all over it!

Megan Reading (senior): “I want to study kinesiology or exercise science. I want to get into the sports medicine field.”

Megan’s top school choice is Michigan.  “I have been accepted at Delaware, Maryland, Temple, and Penn State so far with a few more to hear from.”

Megan explained that her knee injury played a part in her interest in sports medicine.  “I got to experience that side of things with the injury.”

In the closing seconds of the game, reserves Ally Cacciapuoti (Pentucket) and Meagan McAndrews (Amesbury) nailed three’s.

Amesbury box

Pentucket box

The link to this game will appear on Twitter (mcclellandpeter) and Mascores.  Tomorrow I plan to post pictures on Instagram (mcclellandmiscellanea).

All of the pictures above and below should enlarge considerably if you click on them.

Emma Dollas looks for a pass

Emma Lopata (44) guards Liv DeLong

Ciara Sullivan shoots in the lane

Gabby Redford finds a lane

Abby Dube defends Alyssa Pettet

Ciara Sullivan looks to the rim as Mackenzie Currie defends

Bethany Cloutier gets a layup

Gabby Redford looks to pass as Audrey Conover defends

Alyssa Pettet trapped by Mackenzie Currie and Arielle Cleveland

Lana Mickelson to the basket

Scramble for the ball

Abby Dube

Megan Reading

 

 

 

 

 

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Great start, strong finish earns Ipswich 52-48 win over Pentucket

James Davis (Pentucket) and Charlie Henderson (Ipswich) were part of a very close game

Kenny Lee covered by Will Wertz

(West Newbury MA) The Ipswich Tigers started with shutout defense and ended with consecutive offense.

That combo was enough to defeat Pentucket, 52-48, on Thursday night at Pentucket.

The Tigers (5-4) scored the first nine points of the game while the Sachems (2-6) had eight turnovers. Nick Daly (20 points) got a layup four minutes into the opening quarter to get Pentucket on the board.

“We gave the ball away too much,” explained Pentucket coach Ed Hickey afterwards.  “It’s our Achilles Heel right now.”

Despite the lousy start, and later in the third period trailing by ten (36-26), the Sachems were far from finished.

Silas Bucco (10 points) eludes Evan Stein

Senior Silas Bucco and junior Nick Daly took the home team on their collective backs after their team went down ten. They led the Sachems on an impressive 15-3 segment.

During the exciting comeback, Silas had six points while Nick had seven including a three that put Pentucket on top, 41-39, with 4 ½ minutes left in the game.

“I think we lost that ten-point lead because we got too rushed on offense, while defensively our rotations broke down a little bit,” explained Ipswich coach Alan Laroche.

For the next two minutes there were ties and lead changes with no indication of the final outcome.

The Sachems’ Kenny Lee set up teammate Ryan Tedeschi for a three from the left corner and then made a layup himself in traffic to boost the Pentucket margin to three (48-45) with 2 ½ minutes left.

Those would be the last points the Sachems would score.

“We had opportunities down the stretch to make shots and win the game,” said Coach Hickey.  “We just didn’t get it done tonight.”

Meanwhile, the Tigers put consecutive offense together scoring the last eight points of the game to get the win, 52-48.

Aidan O’Flynn

“We had a nice run down the stretch,” recalled senior Aidan O’Flynn.  “We came through thanks to Ray’s clutch performance.”

Sophomore Ray Cuevas (26 points) had a 12-point final quarter.

In the 2 ½ minute, run to victory, Ray set up teammate Nikhil Walker for a layup, made a three, and blocked a shot.

Ray Cuevas (26 points) puts up a three

“Ray had a nice game,” said Coach Laroche.  “He’s really starting to come into his own offensively.  He’s finding where he can get his shot.”

Nikhil Walker made two free throws, with thirteen seconds left, out of a tense one-and-one situation.

Nikhil Walker about to make the 2nd of two free throws with thirteen seconds left

“His two made free throws took some of the pressure off us in the final thirteen seconds,” added Coach Laroache.

I asked Aidan O’Flynn if he was surprised that Nikhil made the two shots: “Not at all, he’s a clutch free throw shooter. He practices them a lot.  I wasn’t surprised he made both.”

Nick Daly (20 points)

It certainly dampened Pentucket’s chances when high-scorer Nick Daly fouled out with 1:22 left.

“Nick had a big game,” said Coach Hickey.  “Losing him hurt us.”

Coach Hickey: “The kids competed.  They played hard.  It just didn’t work out for us.”

Coach Laroche: “It’s been a nice season.  I told these kids that I wish I had them for twenty games because I think we could have done something in the real tournament.”

Silas Bucco had ten points for Pentucket and Will Wertz had the same amount for Ipswich.

I saw both teams defeat Triton by a point.

Coach Laroche: “We’re making the best of what we’re allowed to do.  It’s awesome that we’re allowed to be here right now.”

Ipswich box

Pentucket box

The story will be linked on Twitter (McclellandPeter).  It will also be posted on Mascores.  Tomorrow some of the pictures will show up on Instagram (mcclellandmiscellanea).

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge if you click on them.)

Michael Perlitch guards Nikhil Walker

Ray Cuevas (26 points) in for two in the last quarter

Nikhil Walker hustles for a rebound

Nikhil Walker (9 points) elevates to get an inside shot

Fighting for a rebound

CJ Condon guards Will Wertz (10 points)

Nick Daly puts up a shot in close

Reilly Dillon

Nick Daly shoots in the lane

Paul Wertz (23) challenges Chase Dwight’s layup try

CJ Condon defends

Aidan Tierney

Owen Tedeschi

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Despite Cam Keliher’s 44 points, Newburyport defeats Amesbury 86-83 in overtime

Cam Keliher scored forty-four points including eleven 3’s

(Newburyport MA) Both coaches said the same thing right afterwards.

“This game was fun.”

Everyone watched Amesbury’s last shot (Matt Welch) in overtime

Jake Robertson (17 points) hit a last-second shot to get Newburyport into overtime

I would have gone with, “exciting” to describe Newburyport’s, 86-83, overtime win against Amesbury on Friday night.

The game was certainly worthy of superlatives!

I’m going to guess that records were set.

Undefeated Newburyport (9-0) and Amesbury (2-5) combined for twenty-eight three’s.

Junior Cam Keliher collected forty-four points in a night where he made eleven three’s.

Amesbury played as if they didn’t remember their last meeting versus the Clippers; a 28-point loss in January.

The Indians also played as if they hadn’t played last night, which they had.

“Amesbury was relentless,” add NHS coach Dave Clay.  “They played well in their win over Manchester-Essex last night and it carried over into this one.”

The Indians came very close to winning in regulation.

A Cam Keliher three had Amesbury ahead by three with twenty-two seconds left.

You suspected that the Clippers’ high scorer, Jake Robertson, would be involved in the final shot……….and he was, but it took a while.

Tight AHS defense forced Max Gagnon (17 points) into what looked to be the last shot.  He missed, but Jack Fehlner (16 points) found the rebound and quickly found Jake.

Jake Robertson congratulated by teammates after sending game into overtime

“It was close to being over,” said Jake afterwards.  “Great offensive rebound by Jack.”

Trevor Ward draws a foul on Matt Heidt

Jake launched a long, straightaway three just before the buzzer sounded.  “I couldn’t tell if it was in because I fell off to the side,” said Jake.

But in it went, and Newburyport had five more minutes of playing time.

“We attacked the offensive glass and got that last chance,” said Coach Clay.

The Clippers took a quick four-point lead in overtime against the tiring Indians on inside scores by Jack Fehlner and Tommy Jahn (10 points).

Defensively the Clippers changed to a 1-2-2 zone defense and lessened Cam Keliher’s clean looks.

“We were just trying to give them a different look,” explained Coach Clay.  “Cam was really killing us with that step-back.  It was a gamble.  We did it earlier in the game and he hit a corner three.”

“That zone in overtime was effective because we missed some inside shots,” said Coach Comeau.

Cam Keliher closely guarded by Trevor Ward

After a layup by Kyle Donovan (11 points) Jack Fehlner and Tommy Jahn both scored again from in close.

Cam followed with his 11th three to cut the lead to three (86-83) with 22 seconds left.

The Indians would get a final possession with a chance to tie but weren’t able to do it.

“We had them,” said Cam post-game, “and he (Jake) made that tough shot. Credit to him.”

“I’m sad that we lost but it was a fantastic game,” said Coach Comeau.  “This what the Amesbury/Newburyport rivalry is supposed to be like.”

Max Gagnon (17 points) in the lane

“I’m excited for our kids to have been in a game like this,” said Coach Clay.  “Win or lose, you never forget these.”

Coach Clay: “Jake (Robertson) always makes the right play.  It doesn’t always end with him shooting the ball.  I was certainly glad to see the ball in his hands at the end, I’ll admit.  That was a tough shot, but we’ve seen him hit those in practice.”

You would have never guessed the ending by the way the first half went.

The teams were tied, 7-7, after four minutes but then the Clippers took over.  They scored the next fourteen points, while Amesbury committed five turnovers.

To make this worse, Cam Keliher limped off and missed most of the final four minutes.

Newburyport led, 21-7, after a quarter.

The lead was sixteen (36-20) halfway through the second quarter.

One minute into the second half, the Clippers still had a nice cushion, 46-30.

Matt Welch (13 points) guarded by Jack Fehlner

Newburyport winning by twenty-eight in January started dancing in my head.

But as Coach Comeau said afterwards, “There’s no quit in these kids.”

The Indians absolutely owned the next 3 ½ minutes of playing time in the third quarter.  They went on a 19-3 run and tied the game, 49-49.

Matt Welch (13 points) had seven during the run as did Cam Keliher.

Five ties and seven lead changes followed through regulation.

“I really feel bad that we didn’t have fans in the stands for this one,” said Coach Comeau.

I asked Cam if he had eaten anything special pregame. “I had Subway.”

There was some back-and-forth banter between the teams as the long shots started falling.  The referees put an end to it.  “It was all fun and games,” said Cam.  “We’ve been playing each other since fifth grade.”

Cam had three points in the first quarter and in overtime.  In between he went; 13, 13, and 12.  Remarkable performance.

“Cam’s a fantastic player,” said Coach Comeau, “and he’s going to play at the next level.”

Scramble on the floor

Jake Robertson: “Amesbury always gives us a good run.”

Jake described this season’s success this way, “We’ve been good at creating our own energy off the court and it transfers onto the court.”

It appears that there will be a post-season in the Cape Ann League during February vacation.

“It will give the seniors some more games,” said Coach Clay.

“If we are in the tournament, no one is going to be happy to play us,” added Coach Comeau.

Newburyport box

Amesbury box

The link to this coverage will be on Twitter @mcclellandpeter and also Mascores.  Pictures from the game should appear on Instagram (@mcclellandmiscellanea) on Saturday.

(The pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Nick White

Andrew Cullen

Cam Keliher leaves with an injury in the first quarter

Tommy Jahn (10 points)

Kyle Donovan gets a block

Jack Fehlner (16 points) including four 3’s

Kyle Donovan (11 points) in for two in overtime

Cam ties the game

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport stays undefeated with exciting 58-54 win at Pentucket

Newburyport celebrates a rare win over Pentucket

Mackenzie Currie (18 points) heads into the heart of the Newburyport defense

(West Newbury MA) Pentucket doesn’t lose very often at home, or anywhere else, for that matter.

But the visiting Newburyport Clippers got that rare feat done, 58-54, on Wednesday night.

Both teams were undefeated and had large-margin wins over everyone else in the Cape Ann League.

“It was the win of the season for us,” said Newburyport senior Abigail Gillingham (10 points) afterwards. “They don’t expect anyone to come in here and give them a hard time.  We had the mindset that this was our game, and no one was going to take it away from us.”

Both teams were aggressive on offense (taking the ball to the basket) and defense.  There was never a chance that the 30-second shot clock would be used.

Two Mackenzie Currie free throws put the Sachems (7-1) ahead by two, 52-50, with 1:18 left.

“I thought we had enough to win,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara, “after we got the lead but give them credit, they knocked down free throws.”

Not only did Newburyport make free throws (eight in the final forty-four seconds) but even when they missed, they were able to immediately get the ball back and produce points.

Senior Leah Metsker (9 points) made her first attempt, missed the second but got her own rebound and earned two more free throws.  She made both and the Clippers led, 53-52.

Leah Metsker shoots a free throw

After a Pentucket turnover, Deidre McElhinney (11 points) was fouled.  She made the first, missed the second, but the Sachems lost the rebound out of bounds.

Deidre McElhinney shoots free throws

More chances followed for Newburyport at the line.  Leah Metsker made both and now the Clippers were up four, 56-52, with ten seconds left as the game got away from Pentucket.

Deidre McElhinney guarded by Greta Maurer

“I’m glad I could make some clutch shots,” said Leah.  “I tried hard to focus because the gym was so loud.”

“It was such a relief that we could finish it out,” added Deidre.

“Props to Leah and Deidre for making their free throws at the end,” added Abigail Gillingham.

Part of Pentucket’s defensive strategy was limit Abigail’s touches.

“We focused on her and gave up shots to other kids instead,” explained Coach McNamara, “but some of those kids made shots.”

Abigail Gillingham (10 points) guarded by Mackenzie Currie

Abigail didn’t even touch the ball for the first four minutes of the game.

Credit Mackenzie Currie for the tough defense on the NHS top scorer although she had plenty of help from nearby teammates.

Mackenzie led all scorers with eighteen points.  The Pentucket senior (going to St. Joe’s next year) hit two 3’s and went hard to the basket even against multiple defenders.

Sophomore Abby Dube tallied fourteen points including three 3’s.  Her last three was part of a seven-point run in the final quarter that gave Pentucket the 52-50 lead.

A key contributor for NHS was sophomore Jackie Doucette (12 points).  Jackie had a couple of three’s, as well as a full-court drive.

Newburyport coach Karen Grutchfield: “It was a nice team win.  I am so happy for Leah.  Shooting under those circumstances is hard, but she did it.  I thought that Emma (Foley) did a good job rebounding and scoring.”

It certainly didn’t help Pentucket to lose their top scorer (Arielle Cleveland) four minutes into the game.

Pentucket coach John McNamara

“Despite not having Arielle available, we still had a chance to win and didn’t,” added Coach McNamara.

Newburyport had lost seven straight to Pentucket dating back to February of 2017.

“We’re so excited to finally beat them,” said Leah.

The Clippers had only four turnovers in the second half while the Sachems had nine.

Jackie Doucette: “We’ve been preparing for Pentucket for a while.  We had a good idea of what they would do.”

Impressed with Pentucket sophomore Audrey Conover.  First time I’ve seen her play.

One of the advantages for coaches is that all of the Cape Ann League games are being filmed for the excluded public.  No need to do any in-person scouting.

Easy to imagine how noisy it would have been if folks could have attended.

Pentucket box

Newburyport box

The coverage of this game will be linked on Twitter (@mcclellandpeter) and be on my McClelland Miscellanea online blog.  Hoping to get it posted on Mascores too.  Pictures should show up on Instagram (@mcclellandmiscellanea).

All of the pictures above and below will enlarge if you click on them.

Lana Mickelson

Jackie Doucette (12 points)

Deidre McElhinney breaks after a steal

Greta Mauer

Gabby Bellacqua, Abby Dube, Makenna Ward

Gabby Loughran

Deidre McElhinney passes out of a double-team

Abby Dube (14 points)

Mackenzie Currie

Audrey Conover and Deidre McElhinney

Emma Lopata

Deidre McElhinney

Mackenzie Currie puts Pentucket up by two

Jackie Doucette (12 points) shoots from long range

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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